Actually 8 in the US. I liked Alinea, but thought that Per Se far out classed it, and I would put Cyrus (CA), Komi (DC), and Town House (VA) well ahead of WD~50 (a fun restaurant to be sure, but not worthy of this list).
I also cannot understand why St. John always makes these lists, it is good, but Fergus's protégés are far outpacing him, especially the young man that opened Hereford Road.
As we still keep a place in McLean I noted with interest your mentioning Town House
which we had never heard of/tried. Sadly, it seems that their chefs departed and the restautant closed earlier this year.
My Virginia favorite has, since the '80's, been Patrick O'Connell's Inn at Little Washington
. The fact that it dropped off the "World's Best" list in the mid-2000's has more to do with fashion than the quality of the food or the dining experience and ambiance that Chef O'Connell has continued to provide at "world class" levels.
Not only that, the presence of his venerable establishment has led to a number of stellar country restaurants finding success in the small towns of the Piedmont. Even today, given the choice of being a guest at The Inn or the French Laundry I would choose The Inn.
Molecular, schlomecular; O'Connell is still a Chef of the first rank. The fact that he has not diluted his work or diverted his attention by opening in Vegas or NYC only makes him more so.
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2012/08/02 09:58:36